DODGEVILLE – Don Bates recently accepted the newly created position of chronic wasting disease (CWD) operations supervisor for southwest Wisconsin, the state agency announced today.

Mr. Bates, 49, is now responsible for overseeing all CWD field personnel in the western Disease Eradication Zone (DEZ) and Herd Reduction Zone (HRZ), along with operations functions such as deer sampling and registration, landowner and hunter outreach, public information, carcass disposal and the food pantry donation program.

The western CWD Zones encompass all or most of Columbia, Green, Iowa, Lafayette and Richland Counties, western Dane County and northeast Grant County, along with small section of five other counties.

“Don has proven to be an energetic, team-building and product producing employee, and for the previous three years has accepted major add-on duties with our CWD efforts in addition to his regular work. He is exceptionally qualified for this new position,” said Carl Batha, wildlife supervisor for the 11-county South Central Region.

Mr. Bates has been the supervisor of the State Game Farm at Poynette since joining DNR in 1981. There he coordinated the statewide pheasant stocking program working with 65 sport clubs and agency wildlife biologists in 39 counties.

The operations supervisor, who earned a degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin, grew up in Reedsburg and as such “I am endeared to the landscape and people of this beautiful part of the state and fully understand the challenges that lay ahead,” noted Mr. Bates.

“I look forward to working with landowners and hunters towards eliminating CWD from our landscape and getting back to a healthy deer herd and the traditional deer hunt,” he added.

Mr. Bates is based at the DNR Service Center in Dodgeville, 1500 N. Johns St., phone: 608-935-1918 or email at don.ba[email protected]